Monday, March 28, 2016

He is RISEN

What a MARVELOUS week. Happy Easter!
Selfie Before the Baptism

Brother Tate, Seif, Sister Alligood and I
Our investigator Seif, was baptized on Good Friday! Then he was confirmed on Easter Sunday! He couldn't have picked two more special days. It was a very spiritual service. You could tell that he was SO happy. The talks that were shared by some of the ward members talked a lot about the Savior's atonement and his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. After the baptism, while we were waiting for Seif to get dried off and changed, we shared one of the churches Bible Videos. It was the one where we actually see Jesus Christ suffering and his apostles keep falling asleep. The spirit was so strong and it is amazing to think about how the Savior truly suffered for each of our sins, one by one. He didn't do it all at once. He knows exactly how we feel, when we are sick, when we are sad, and when we are struggling. But because he suffered and was crucified, He then was resurrected. He rose from the dead, so that one day, we may all be resurrected too. We will all have perfect bodies one day, and we will be with our friends and families who aren't here anymore. We will be able to see them again because of what Jesus Christ did.

Another One of Seif at the Baptism
My last area, Elkins, WV, had a baptism this week as well. it was amazing to hear about it and to hear about how Steve, a 6 foot tall man with a grey mullet, teared up because he felt the spirit touch his heart. What an amazing sight that must have been! I am so grateful I had the opportunity to work with him. He is amazing! I can't wait for when I get to come back to visit after my mission and to see how much this gospel has blessed his life.  MY MISSION IS TO BLESS.

Easter Sunday
On Saturday, it was the General Woman's Session of General Conference. What an amazing day and age that we live in, that we get to hear from the leaders of our church, as if they are in the same room we are. I am so grateful my companion and I were able to gather with the Lynchburg Ward sisters at the church, to join with woman all around the world for a great meeting. I love the sisterhood that I felt as I was sitting in the chapel. I very much enjoyed the talks that were given and especially the theme of the conference. Reach out, and serve! As a full-time missionary, this is what I do all day! But there will come a day, (a very sad day) that I will have to take off my name tag and go back to real life. I know that I will still be able to serve others as I pray and seek out those opportunities. My friends, as a representative of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I can PROMISE you that by praying and seeking for missionary opportunities, they WILL come. This is the Lord's greatest work on earth and I can testify to that. I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father is preparing someone for each of you to serve, and love and to bring closer to Christ. There are many who are in need of help, weather it be physical or spiritual. Let the Lord use your talents and your abilities to serve his children and show them His love through YOU. He labors beside us in His vineyard (Jacob 5). We are never alone in the Lord's service. In doing this, I know we will be blessed. I know that this is true.

#Ponderize "And now, behold, I will testify‍ unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions‍ of his people, and that he shall atone‍ for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it."
One of Our Investigators Got Baby Ducks for Easter
I love y'all, I love my Mission, and I love the Lord.

XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
If you have a minute, send me a note :)
410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502

Monday, March 21, 2016

Baptism Week

Hello my friends,
I LOVE Virginia - taken at my half way mark

This is a BIG week! So, remember Steve? From my last area? He's awesome! HE'S GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! Sister Roberts just emailed me today and told me that he is ready and scheduled for Saturday, the 26th. I am SO excited for him! I have never before seen someone so truly converted to the gospel and so willing to make changes in their life to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. Steve did the Stop Smoking Program twice to stop chewing, and now he says that he has no desire to chew! THE GOSPEL DOES CHANGE HEARTS. He has truly become converted to the Gospel and I know he will be a great, strong member! I am super sad that I can't be there for the baptism, but I know that it will be a special day that he will never forget! I love Steve!
I Found the Promised Land

We Don't Get Out to Appomattox Very Often
We will also be having a baptism here in Lynchburg this week! WHAT?! Baptisms all around. That's because the West Virginia Charleston Mission is a Baptizing Mission! :)  We teach repentance and baptize converts. Sister Alligood and I are helping Seif prepare for baptism on Friday! So the story with Seif is, he is German and he was born in Egypt. He had a sister who was baptized a member of the church and while Seif was in Germany he started learning about the church. Soon after he started learning about the church, Seif's sister passed away and he lost contact with the church. Then later, this past January, he was able to contact the missionaries here in Lynchburg! The Sisters started teaching him and he has been at church every week since! His wife Jackie is a Christian and is willing to listen to our lessons, but she doesn't have any desire to come to church. Seif wants his wife and his children to participate in the many blessings that the gospel brings, and he is hoping and praying that someday his wife will be baptized, along with his two children.

Virginia
This week we got to go around more of Lynchburg and I have met lots of crazy people. The people here are just crazy! (in a wonderful way) I love Virginia! We have been trackting a lot, trying to meet new people and find new investigators. On Friday we participated in a Chicken Run! Oh my. So a few weeks ago, there was a Tornado out here, in Appomattox, that did some pretty good damage to some of the members homes that live out that way. One of the members asked us to come by and to help them burn wood. Of course, Sister Alligood jumped with enthusiasm because of course, she would LOVE to burn some wood. She is hilarious. So we go out to their home, and they are burning wood and building a chicken coop. Where are the chickens? We asked them. Soon after than we were stuffed into a truck and driving down the highway to pick up their chickens from a friend who was keeping them while they were fixing their house. We had to pick up the chickens and put them in a cage and then take them to the truck. We did this twice to get all the chickens back home safely. It was interesting, I have never picked up a chicken before. But we are friends now. It was fun.  
Chickens and I are Friends 

#Ponderize 3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."

I love y'all, I love the Lord, and I love my mission!

XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
Virginia License Plate

Virginia is For Lovers...


So I accidentally gave y'all the wrong address last week, sorry! I forgot to put the apartment number. Here is the correct address:

Sister Kayla Willis
410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502
Virginia is Really Pretty

More Virginia

And There's More

Monday, March 14, 2016

#Hallelujah

HEYYYYY
Last Selfie with Sister Roberts

Virginia is so GREEN
I made it to Virginia!!! After waking up at 6 in the morning, a very long car ride, where I was passed along to 5 different drivers along with my luggage, I made it to Lynchburg, Virginia at 9 in the evening. I had to go from one of the more northern parts of the mission to one of the most southern parts of the mission. There was even a time I didn't have a companion, because I was the only Sister going down this far. Super weird, but we made it. WOW! Totally worth it though. Virginia is AMAZING! We are living in Lynchburg, which is actually a really big city. Bigger than any other place I have served yet. Our area is HUGE! We cover all the way out to Appomattox, which is what our area is actually called. We can only go out there every so often because it is about 30 minutes away, but there is lots of history there! It is where the Civil War ended! So cool. We are going to go check out the courthouse and the museum out there sometime.
We are Sad to be Leaving Each Other

The Ward I am serving in is the Lynchburg 1st Ward. There are actually 2 other Wards that share our same building! Wow! There are lots of members in this area, which is nice because this means we have more members who are able to feed us and more members who are willing to come out teaching with us! My new companion's name is Sister Alligood. She is from Garland, Texas! She has been out on her mission for about 15 months, she only has two transfers left. She gives the best hugs in history! She hugged me so hard and squeezed me so tight she lifted me off the ground! She is super sweet and very creative. She loves to crocket, she does that before bed. She has already made me two bracelets! She is a little taller than me and has brown curly hair. I am excited to be with her.  

My New Companion, Sister Alligood
Our Investigator, Steve, Who is Getting Baptized
So right now we don't have to many people we are working with. We have done a lot of trackting trying to find new people and oh boy I just love the Virginia people! They are sweet as sugar and sometimes I can't understand them. People here have really thick accents, more than anywhere else I have been! We are teaching a man named Seif [pronounced: safe] and he is awesome! He is working towards baptism and so excited!

Yesterday, the church released the new Easter Initiative for 2016 and it is called #Hallelujah It is amazing! It really reminds us how we can truly follow Jesus Christ and find new life because of his Atonement and Resurrection. This Easter Season I challenge everyone to go to followhim.mormon.org and watch this new video. Its only 2 minutes and 14 seconds so I know you have enough time to watch it, then post this video! Post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else the technology world has come out with these days. Sharing this simple video will spread the joy the Easter and help us to remember our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ. Happy Easter! #Hallelujah

#Ponderize Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is‍ no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth‍ the law, happy is‍ he."

Lots of love from Virginia,

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

My new mailing address, don't hesitate to send me a letter!
Sister Kayla Willis
410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502

Finally got to See My Trainer, Sister Lively

"Our Classic Pose" - with Sister Lively

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

I'm Getting Shipped Off to VIRGINIA

Hey everyone!
Last Selfie in Elkins

Saying Goodbye to Jarrah, YW in Ward
Squirrel Tails Hanging on a String in WV
I forgot to tell ya'll that this week is transfers. Sister Roberts and I were pretty sure that she was going to be leaving Elkins and I would stay because she has already been here for 6 months... We got the transfer call on Saturday and the Zone Leaders asked us both what we thought was going to happen. We both said we thought that Sister Roberts was leaving and they both paused for a minute, and one of them said, "You're so WRONG!" We were both in shock! My heart was racing when they said I was the one being transferred! We later found out that Sister Roberts is going to be training here in Elkins! She is going to be amazing! I am going to be in Appomattox, Virginia! I guess that is where the Civil War ended! I am super excited!! I have now served in Kentucky, West Virginia and now I will be in Virginia! I love serving God's children here in this wonderful part of the world! It is a riot!
Sister Roberts and I with Elders Hallewell and Hansen

This week it has been so warm! I think winter is over now, or whatever we had. The weather doesn't like to stay the same here. It is always changing to the extreme. It was like 66 one day, it was so nice!!! We tracted for about an hour.  We didn't find anybody but it was still a great time.

Our investigator Steve is on fire! He has been working on stopping his chewing habit, by doing the stop smoking workshop. He is almost done! I am so excited for him! He should be getting baptized this transfer. He has such a desire to change and to follow God.  Tt is amazing! I love the Gospel and how it truly changes hearts. It is amazing to see how people can do a 360 and become better through Jesus Christ. I want to be able to become my best self, and it is hard because I have many weaknesses. But I know that by striving every day to be the best I can be and always changing, I can become more like Christ. I love this Gospel, I love my Mission and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Still Saying Good-bye with Jarrah
#Ponderize Mosiah 5:2 "And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change‍ in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually."

Lots of love,

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis
Me by the Elkins Sign - Good-bye Elkins